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Six tips for selling property in Sweden's current housing market

Becky Waterton
Becky Waterton - [email protected]
Six tips for selling property in Sweden's current housing market
An estate agent holds an apartment viewing. Photo: Tomas Oneborg/SvD/TT

The Local's reporter Becky Waterton was brave (or stupid) enough to sell her apartment in the current Swedish market, where prices in some areas have dropped by as much as 10 percent in the last year. Here are her tips.



Okay, obviously this is a bit of a joke - but seriously, my best piece of advice would be to avoid selling right now unless you really have to do so, and wait until the market becomes more stable.

Obviously, there are some situations where you need to move no matter what the market, such as a relocation, divorce or new addition to the family, in which case you'll just have to bite the bullet and make the best of a bad situation.

Be prepared to wait

Houses and apartments are still selling in the current market, it just takes longer. As mentioned above, there are always people who need to move house, so you'll most likely find a buyer for your property eventually.

Just be prepared for the process to take time - the days of properties selling within a week or two are over, and buyers are likely to wait longer before deciding whether to put in an offer, as they know the chances are low of somebody snapping up the property before they've made up their minds.

For example, it took us six weeks from first apartment viewing to sale, probably close to two months in total from the date we contacted our estate agent to the date we signed the contract.


Apartment viewings often happen on evenings and weekends, so prepare to clear your schedule for the foreseeable future. Sundays will consist of cleaning and tidying to make your apartment look perfect, and weekday viewings will mean a mad rush home from work to tidy up.

On the plus side, your apartment is going to look great for this entire period.

Set a realistic price from the start

Another issue with the current market is that sellers often expect their property to sell for a higher price than the true market price.

For those who bought their property within the last few years, this might not just be an expectation, but could even be a financial necessity – they need to sell their property to the same price or higher to avoid owing the bank money.


Listen to your estate agent when they value the property, and if possible, get more than one agent to give you a valuation. Expect your property to sell for the price they state, and be prepared for it to sell even lower.

You should also be prepared to negotiate. Can you be flexible with the move-in date? Your buyer is in a strong position and may try to negotiate a better deal for themselves, so think about what else you can offer them instead of lowering the price.

Prepare for the worst (but hope for the best)

If you're buying a new property and are expecting to part-finance it with the sale of the old one, it's a good idea to base your loan promise on selling your property at a loss. 

For example, our calculations of what property we would be able to afford were based on a scenario where we sold our current property at 500,000 kronor below asking price. We ended up selling it for just under asking price, but because we had calculated our future finances based on selling it for so much less, this meant we could still afford the apartment we wanted.

You can always increase your cash deposit if you end up selling for a higher price, but you really don't want to be stuck in a situation where you've signed a contract on a property only to find out you can't finance it.

Don't buy before you sell

This is linked to the last tip, but it's also a good idea to hold off on buying your next property until your last one is sold. Not only does this mean you know exactly how much money you have to play with, but it also means that you're not under any time pressure to sell before a certain deadline.

Another advantage of selling before you buy is that prices look set to keep dropping for a while, meaning that you'll be buying your next property either in the same market, or in a market where prices are slightly lower.

Again, you don't want prices to drop between the time you buy your new property and sell your old one, as that leaves you worse-off financially.


If you do decide to buy before you sell, either because you want the stability of knowing you'll have a place to live or because you find your dream apartment and are worried someone else will snap it up, set your move-in date or tillträdesdato as far in the future as you can. We bought our new apartment in August but set the move-in date for December, meaning we had over three months to sell.

We needed the extra time, too. One of the banks which gave us a loan said our old apartment had to be sold two weeks before we moved into the new one, and the other said it had to be sold a month before, meaning our deadline for selling was even closer.

Ask the people you're buying from whether it will be possible to bring the move-in date forward if you sell earlier. This way you're covered if you need more time, but you'll still be able to move in a little bit earlier if you get lucky with your apartment sale.

Make small improvements

Finally, if you have the time, see if there are any small improvements you can make to make your apartment a more attractive prospect for buyers. Fix that light in the hallway which has been broken for years, and paint over any small marks on the walls so that the apartment feels more fresh.

Decorate with plants or fresh flowers before your viewings and find small, inexpensive ways to make it feel nicer. Got an outdated kitchen table? Cover it with a nice tablecloth. 

Think about the first impression when people come into the apartment - is your hallway well-lit? Have you cleaned the windows? Lots of small changes can make a big difference in how it feels to a prospective buyer.


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